I read a couple of articles yesterday (one and two) stating that Facebook had hired a PR firm to create a campaign that would portray Google in a negative light. The ultimate and alleged intent was to go after Google Social Circles (sneak peek here).
This is one of those cases where I have to believe half what I see and none of what I hear.
First of all, anytime a business has the potential of stellar competition building on the same block, there’s going to be curiosity – there’s going to be fact finding – there’s going to be a desire to downplay the competition while developing improvements to keep your business on top.
My first thought was did Facebook REALLY hire the PR firm or did Google hire the PR firm?
When you think about it, either company could have dreamt up this campaign. Think about it!
Secondly, who really cares? Consumers and web surfers know the Google and Facebook and no amount of smear is going to change that. Obviously all the viruses that have and continue to make their way around Facebook haven’t sent people fleeing from the site – it’s simply changed the landscape a bit and altered member behavior to keep them a little safer while mingling with their friends.
As for the PR firm – I’ve seen Burson-Marsteller being crucified in both news and social media, but what firm and what person would turn down Facebook OR Google if they came knocking on your door? Especially in today’s economy?
In the end, I think Google should focus on what they do best , Facebook should stick with what they do best, and Burson-Marsteller should be proud they were considered by either company for any project, even if it did seem a little on the slimy side.
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